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Sport needs to do more to protect athletes who are the victims of homophobic abuse say Commons Select Committee Report.

Sport needs to do more to protect athletes who are the victims of homophobic abuse say Commons Select Committee Report. 

The British Athletes Commission fully supports the recommendations published in the recent report by the Government’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. The main conclusion is that a zero tolerance approach to homophobic abuse from grassroots to the highest levels in sport in this country should be adopted by all sports.

The BAC is the first players’ association in the UK to have appointed LGBT Ambassadors following our own research completed with the help of Pride Sports. As such we welcome the fact that this report has highlighted the need for further work still to be done across sport. The BAC will therefore continue to work with all the relevant agencies such as the Sports Councils and National Governing Bodies to ensure that any of our members that needs advice and support has access to it as we work to deliver the changes recommended in the report.

Matt Lister, LGBT Representative, British Athletes Commission states “A zero tolerance approach to cases of homophobic abuse is entirely what is necessary to protect our athletes. We have to create an environment in which all athletes can perform at their best. It is in the best interests of the NGB’s to adhere to these strict zero tolerance rulings, to ensure that they give their athletes best chances of achieving their best results. We have to protect the athletes from homophobic abuse not just because of protecting the best results possible, but because it is the right thing to do. It should never be a case of special treatment, only equality across the board.

Each athlete is an individual and should be treated as such, and in the case of LGBT athletes, whether they are out or not, we must show we stand by them against any discrimination. We don’t watch or support athletes based on their sexual orientation, we support them based on their talent, performance, determination and results. We have to lead by example when we are exposed on the world stage. By creating a zero tolerance environment we are showing society that we should all be working toward eradicating discrimination and abuse of any kind.”

Notes to Editors:

About the British Athletes Commission 

The British Athletes Commission (BAC) is an independent membership association, which represents the interests of athletes in high performance sports in Great Britain. The BAC's members are from a wide range of sports (predominantly, but not exclusively, Olympic or Paralympic) and have represented their country (or GB). To find out more please visit: www.britishathletes.org

More information about the BAC LGBT Representatives can be found here: http://www.britishathletes.org/the-british-athletes-commission-first-to-appoint-lgb-ambassadors-matt-lister-and-david-hill

About Matt Lister

Matthew Lister is a former British canoe slalom athlete, competing since the late 2000s, he has won numerous international medals as a Junior and U23, been British National Champion consecutively 2009-2013, was a reserve for the London 2012 Games, and has won two bronze medals in the C2 team event at the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships 2011 and 2013.

British Athletes Commission Contact- 

Sara Heath- Head of Communications and Member Services 

Email: sara@britishathletes.org

Tel: 0203 126 4270

Mob: 07776307244

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